The water systems are a major feature of Burketown, an important part of the traditional culture.
ALBERT, NICHOLSON, LEICHHARDT & GREGORY RIVERS
Burketown, on the banks of the Albert River, provides access out to the Gulf of Carpentaria 25km away (approximately 40kms by river). Named after Prince Albert, the Queens consort, by Captain John Lort Stokes, the river is the site of the original discovery of the region.
The Nicholson River is some 17 kilometres to the west of town and is a fresh water river that feeds the wetlands to the north of town providing a breeding grounds for local fauna including crocs, birds, barramundi, and prawns.
Gregory River also flows through the region and is the only river in the lower Gulf of Carpentaria that has a continuous stream flow.
The Leichhardt River lies just to the east of town, though some 70km by road to the Leichhardt Falls travelling towards Normanton.
The water systems are a major feature of Burketown, an important part of the traditional Gangalidda culture, and are the basis for a number of exciting opportunities to experience the region.
Just shy of 7 km from town, is the wharf area providing boat launching facilities. It is a popular fishing spot and the surrounding fringes of mangroves can also provide the opportunity to catch a mud crab. There are several waterways defining the area – on the northern boundary is Truganini Creek, with also Norman gully, Chinawall and the Albert River bounding the other.
Good facilities exist on the site and it is now established as a permit camping site for visitors.
Dean’s Creek just 12 km from town, is a large, open and flat area providing the ability to launch a boat to head to the mouth of the Albert River and ultimately into the Gulf of Carpentaria. This halves the distance to the mouth from the Wharf Area.
Once again, excellent fishing to be had and the surrounding mangroves provide for mudcrabbing. The river crosses through the saltpans and is tidal – making it a “dry season” only accessible site.
Dean’s Creek is of cultural significance to the Gangalidda-Garawa people. It is from here that the Groper Dreaming story commences onwards to Roper River in the Northern Territory.
This area is now a permit camping site for visitors.
A permit camping site for visitors, there are several historical sites found in this area – the Boiling Down Works and the Landsborough Tree. This area is also the entrance to the Loop.
The Loop forms part of the original channel of the Albert River and the downstream end is marked by the entrance to Noman Gully. Shipwrecks can also be found at this site.
A permit camping site for visitors, there are several historical sites found in this area – the Boiling Down Works and the Landsborough Tree.The bottom end (northern section) of The Loop marks the entrance to this camp area with Norman Gully marking the downstream boundary The remains of the Firefly brig are still submerged in the river adjacent to Campsite 19 along with two vessels carrying victims of the Gulf Fever, scuttled to prevent further outbreak.
The Old Bridge
Originally built in the 1900’s, it now provides an excellent camping area and visitors are able to fish straight off the bridge.
The area referred to as the Bridge to Bottleheap is now a permit camping site for visitors.
Woods Lake, named in 1861 by William Landsborough, was initially used as a water supply for the establishment of the market gardens worked by the Chinese. Up until 1963, water was pumped from this lake as a domestic water source for the town. Monsoonal rains between January to March, and the run off from storms in the later part of the year, ensure the long lagoon remains well filled.
Be sure not to miss the opportunity to explore the Rivers of the Gulf on a Sunset Tour!